Brantford, ON – Two youths from Brant riding will have their voices heard at the Ontario New Democratic Youth Convention in Hamilton this weekend.
“We are very excited to see what our local youth will be able to contribute to the discussions at the convention this weekend,” said Marc Laferriere, Federal NDP Candidate for Brant.
Two of those youth participating in the convention as representatives for Brant are Ryan Jamula and Matt LaRocque.
Jamula, a Grade 10 student at Brantford Collegiate, was the winner of the second annual public safety essay contest put on by Brant MP Phil McColeman earlier this year. Jamula’s essay, entitled “Replacing Crime with Recreation”, was the unanimous winner of the contest. Jamula was also one of the finalists of The Brantford Expositor’s Great Kid Contest this year and is the President of the Brant Riding Chapter of the Young New Democrats.
– Jamula has his hand raised at recent Brant Riding Event by NDP Leader Jack Layton
LaRocque, a local graduate currently serves as the Membership Officer on the Brant NDP executive and is also the Volunteer Coordinator of Laferriere’s federal campaign. Outside of his political interests Matt has been heavily involved in the community in such areas as heritage and health advocacy including volunteer work for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of Canada.
– LaRocque speaks with a group of local youth at the 2010 Young NDP Youth Dodgeball Tournament in Eagle Place.
Laroque & Jamula have recently spearheaded a very successful membership campaign for the Brant NDP. “We recieved a lot of support across different age groups but it was really heartening to see so many youth members join up in the last year. We definately have some active and engaged young people on the local scene,” said Laroque.
The weekend consists of a mix of policy discussions, workshops, and guest speakers covering a wide range of topics affecting our youth. The headline speech of the convention will be given by Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath (MPP Hamilton Centre).
“We understand just how important it is to have our youth engaged in the conversation on issues that affect them now, and in the future,” said Laferriere. “We are making decisions that affect their lives for years to come, and the voice of our youth needs to be heard when making those decisions. They deserve a spot at the table.”
29 year-old Laferriere will participate in the Youth Convention on Saturday Afternoon from 2pm-5pm and will deliver a workshop to young leaders from across the province on Youth Leadership and Community Development.
“We’ve been running a unique campaign that is not just about getting some party message out. Instead we’ve been using community development models to increase engagement and create community change,” said Laferriere. “Political campaigns should make a community better not just litter the area with billboard ads. We’re going to use the story of our Brant campaign to show other young people from across the province how to do that in a positive campaign.”
Laferriere will be tweeting live updates from the floor of the Convention on Saturday afternoon to provide information to the general community as well.
To join the Young NDP or volunteer for the Federal Campaign e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or call (519)751-9111
– Horwath & Laferriere will both be presenting to young people at ONDY CON. This picture is of them speaking earlier this year at a Solidarity Rally in Brantford.